In 1732: Benjamin Franklin began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanac.”
In 1776: Thomas Paine published his first “American Crisis” essay, writing: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
In 1777: Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.
In 1843: Charles Dickens’ classic Yuletide tale, “A Christmas Carol,” was first published in England.
In 1972: Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1984: Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.